They’re everywhere. Pale, quiet, and hunched over keyboards, they desperately yearn to be passionate about their jobs.
Dispersed throughout a land of gray cubicles, they are the forgotten people.
Too many leaders go into their offices and shut their doors, trying not to make eye contact with the zombies they’ve helped to create.
“Why don’t I have motivated people working for me?” the leaders wonder, as they respond to emails and keep their doors shut.
“Why aren’t they willing to go above and beyond?” they ask themselves, as they wander to a series of meetings that take them away from their team for the entire day.
While the near dead people continue to churn out work, the leader complains about the “new generation” of workers who don’t put any effort into the job.
I’ve long had the ability to tap into the emotions of people, and have used this skill to help leaders breathe life into these graven souls. I’ve spent time with them and developed actions to get them moving again, one emotional limb at a time.
Here are some of the things I’ve discovered. For starters, there is not a “generation” that doesn’t like to work. There is, however, a series of generations that are bored with their jobs because they have no idea how they add value to the company or where it can take them.
Tip #1: If leaders want to infuse heart into their dying team, they need to communicate daily. And this goes beyond saying “hello” to someone as they walk to the restroom. I’ve truly had leaders who counted this interaction as part of their team communication.
People need to know what is going on with key initiatives and how their work impacts that initiative. They need to know their work matters.
If leaders don’t start communicating daily with their team, they’re going to end up sitting in their offices breathing the smokey breath of something cut off from its lifeblood. And like the scene in “Sixth Sense,” they’re going to realize that they’ve been dead all along.